- Negative campaigning doesn't work. Watching the debates, I got the impression that three people were running for mayor, but the fourth was running against Jason West. This strategy is often employed when an opponent has a hate club, but it always seems to fail. Rick Lazio has made a career out of having no qualifications other than not being Hillary or not being Cuomo. John Kerry was possibly the only man alive who could have lost to Bush in 2004, all due to his "I'm not George" campaign. People want to know what you are,, not what you're not.
- Turn your signs around. One candidate's lawn signs were always placed parallel to the sidewalk, where they were visible mostly to residents and neighbors across the street. Unless you've got several hundred very obedient tenants, turn your signs so we can read them as we walk and drive by.
- Public speaking matters . . . somewhat. Not every candidate was cut out for public speaking. One earned my respect because he was willing to try anyway. He got nearly 300 votes despite that disadvantage.
- Knock on doors. I got two door-knocks that I know about, one of which caught us at home. Both the knockers won last night. It's the only way to reach out, particularly if you have trouble speaking to large groups. Walk around. Talk to people. Be memorable.
- The red card. Whoever sent the anti-West "red card" out just prior to the election most likely got him votes. No matter who it was, it was slimy and underhanded. One candidate was implicated by some due to his public anti-West comments (see how keeping things positive helps?), and fair or not, I think the votes West due to the red card may have been destined for that other candidate. I will publicly disclose that person's identity as soon as I have proof.
- Seniors matter even more. Senior citizens are more likely to vote, have more time to pay attention, and have the experience to form solid opinions about what works and what doesn't. Woodland Pond has made it possible to reach out to a big chunk of the senior community easily, and I saw a lot of residents voting when I did. I also heard a lot of condescending remarks aimed at seniors during the campaign ("you're lucky to be here"), and the folks on line with me confirmed that yes, they were indeed insulted. Senior citizens know more than younger people, and see things with a perspective we just can't grasp at a younger age. Ignore them, or patronize them, at your peril.
Here's hoping for a nondysfunctional village board.